Who is Ricardo Lewandowski, Lula’s new Minister of Justice

Who is Ricardo Lewandowski, Lula’s new Minister of Justice
Who is Ricardo Lewandowski, Lula’s new Minister of Justice

Retired STF minister, Lewandowski is sworn in as Flávio Dino’s replacement this Thursday (January 1st)

Retired Minister of the STF (Supreme Federal Court), Enrique Ricardo Lewandowski, 75 years old, takes office as the new Minister of Justice and Public Security in the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) this Thursday (1st January 2024) . The ceremony will be held at 11 am, at Palácio do Planalto.

Carioca, Lewandowski established his academic career in São Paulo. He graduated in political and social sciences from the School of Sociology and Politics of São Paulo (1971) and in legal and social sciences from the Faculty of Law of São Bernardo do Campo (1973), in the metropolitan region of São Paulo.

Here is the profile of the future Minister of Justice, Ricardo Lewandowski:

He joined the Faculty of Law at USP (University of São Paulo) as a volunteer professor in 1978, where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees in law.

In São Bernardo do Campo, Lula’s political birthplace, he was Secretary of Government and Legal Affairs at the city hall, from 1984 to 1988. His proximity to Lula helped take him to the STF. The minister’s mother was a friend of the PT member’s then wife, Marisa Letícia (1950-2017).

He was appointed to the Supreme Court by Lula in 2006. He remained at the Court for 17 years. The then magistrate retired on April 11, 2023, 1 month before turning 75, when he would have to retire compulsorily. Minister Cristiano Zanin, also appointed by Lula, took his place.

One of the most striking cases in his career at the Supreme Court was the impeachment trial of then president Dilma Rousseff (PT) in 2016, conducted by the minister during his period as president of the STF (2014-2016) and the CNJ (National Council of Justice). ), from 2014 to 2016.

In the Senate, Lewandowski presided over the process that led to Dilma losing her mandate. He accepted a request from PT members and senator Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL), then president of the Casa Alta, to split the vote in the process, which allowed Dilma to maintain her political rights even though she had to leave office.

Upon leaving the STF, Lewandowski claimed to have brought forward his retirement for reasons “academics and professionals”.

After leaving the Court, he joined the TPR (Permanent Court of Review) of Mercosur (Southern Common Market). The court is the block’s jurisdictional body and oversees the correct interpretation, application and compliance with the rules that govern it.

On January 1, the minister assumed the presidency of the court. However, he resigned from his position on January 17, 2024, after accepting Lula’s invitation to head the Ministry of Justice, on January 10.

In addition to leaving TPR, Lewandowski also had to leave the Legal Council of the CNI (National Confederation of Industry) and end contacts with clients for whom he advocated and cease his participation in processes.

His move to the department was made official by the federal government the following day. He will command the ministry in place of Flávio Dino. The then Minister of Justice was nominated by Lula for a vacancy on the STF. Dino is scheduled to take office at the Court on February 22.


Dino and Lewandowski met on January 23 to begin the ministry transition. To journalists, Dino said that he would take part of his personal team to his future cabinet.

For the portfolio, Lewandowski has already chosen some of the names that will make up his team. Are they:

  • Ana Maria Neves: it will be chief of staff of the minister. She is a lawyer and has worked with Lewandowski since 2010, when he was president of the TSE (Superior Electoral Court). She was chief of staff of the presidency of the STF from 2014 to 2016, during the minister’s administration, and has served in the minister’s offices of the STJ (Superior Court of Justice) and STF from 2003 to 2009;
  • Manoel Carlos de Almeida Neto: it will be executive Secretary. The 43-year-old lawyer was an advisor in the minister’s office from the beginning of his term until 2016. His last position was legal director at CSN (Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional). He was one of those considered to take Lewandowski’s place in the Supreme Court;
  • Mário Sarrubbo: will be the national secretary of Public Security. He is the Attorney General of Justice of São Paulo and was in charge of the State’s Gaeco (Special Action Group for the Repression of Organized Crime) for 8 years. The choice was influenced by Sarrubbo’s “hard line” profile in combating organized crime;
  • Thais Arbex: it will be head of communications at the ministry. policy analyst at CNN Brazil since 2020, the journalist passed through newspapers like Estadão, The globe It is Folha de S. Paulo.

In addition to these, Lewandowski also invited the names of Marcelo Pimentel de Oliveira and Lílian Melo (his advisors while he was at the Supreme Court) and Natasha Correawho was an advisor to the minister at the TSE (Superior Electoral Court).

Lewandowski’s choice to be number 2 at the Ministry of Justice, Manoel Carlos de Almeida, will replace then-secretary Ricardo Cappelli. Lula gave the minister complete autonomy to choose a name for the post, as Lewandowski is not familiar with Cappelli, in addition to his more restrained style not matching the media style of the secretary chosen by Dino.

For the direction of the PF (Federal Police), Lewandowski decided to keep the current general director of the corporation, delegate Andrei Rodrigues, in his position. In addition to him, Dino’s successor will also leave Wadih Damous in charge of Senacon (National Consumer Secretariat).

Lewandowski will also keep the current director of the PRF (Federal Highway Police), Antônio Oliveira, at the head of the corporation.


In interviews, Lewandowski has stated, since accepting Lula’s invitation to the ministry, that the initial priority of his management at the Ministry of Justice will be public security. To the newspaper The globethe future minister classified the topic as a “absolute priority” which represents a “great challenge”.

At the announcement ceremony, the Chief Executive said that First Lady Janja, also present at the event, hopes that there will be many women in the Ministry of Justice. Lewandowski replied, in a discreet tone: “Certainly”.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Ricardo Lewandowski Lulas Minister Justice



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